Scarborough sand dune roads plan scrapped by State Govt

Anthony James and Robyn Murphy with the Beach not Bitumen group in October last year. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d461005
Anthony James and Robyn Murphy with the Beach not Bitumen group in October last year. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d461005

EXCLUSIVE

TWO years of lobbying against proposed roads through protected Scarborough sand dunes has paid off for campaigners, with Labor announcing the plans would be scrapped.

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti today announced The Esplanade road extensions through protected dune sites as part of the $75 million Scarborough Redevelopment would be scrapped with funding reinvested into alternative traffic improvements.

“The road extensions are not the answer,” she said.

“The decision is in line with a commitment made before the election, following widespread community concern about the planned roads encroaching on the environmentally-sensitive dunes .”

Ms Saffioti said the $5.2 million saved from the road extensions would be reallocated to improving traffic flow along West Coast Highway, entry and exit points at Scarborough Beach and beachfront parking.

“There needs to be considerable planning into more appropriate solutions and I have asked the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) to work with relevant stakeholders to explore ways to enhance the existing local traffic network,” she said.

In November , City of Stirling councillors blocked a “land-grab” by the Barnett Government, delaying the handover of land for the proposed extensions.

Anti-roads action group Beach not Bitumen took its grassroots campaign to the steps of WA Parliament last year and lobbied the Government to back away from the “last century solution” roads.

Beach not Bitumen convener and Scarborough resident Anthony James thanked the “amazing” input from the community.

“Thanks to the thousands of people who backed the campaign in whatever ways they could, from wherever they were,” he said.

“Right across Perth and beyond, supporting the campaign with their feet, talking to people, covering it in the media, creating and putting up signs, backing petitions and raising money.

“Eight months of Beach not Bitumen is testament to the people that care for Scarborough; we are now looking forward to a redevelopment to make Scarborough sing.”

Campaigner and Beach not Bitumen co-convener Robyn Murphy said the roads were unnecessary and environmentally damaging.

“We’re delighted; this is the right decision for the Scarborough redevelopment, it strikes a balance between the main part of the beach as a tourism precinct and having the natural environment adjoining it; this is what tourists appreciate,” she said.

“These sites are important and environmentally significant and it is important they remain for future generations.”

Ms Saffioti said the Government would work with its agencies towards a more integrated approach traffic movement in Scarborough.

“I have been briefed by the MRA on the Scarborough Master Plan, in particular the history and intent of the proposed road extensions and the community support for and against this solution,” she said.

“This has been a longstanding issue that I wanted to resolve.”

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